Meet the 2022 Interns Supporting Black Farmers

This summer, John Deere is funding four legal interns from Historically Black Colleges and Universities who will help eliminate barriers created by Heirs Property and provide resources to advance the lives and livelihoods of Black farmers.

Heirs' Property is land jointly owned by descendants of someone who didn't leave a legal will, thereby leaving them without a clear title. The land is passed to surviving family members by way of fractional ownership—meaning any heir can divide or sell the land. This is the leading cause of involuntary land loss among Black landowners. Other factors include lack of access to resources and information, and distrust in judicial and legal systems.

The interns will be working with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund. The Federation is a non-profit cooperative association of black farmers, landowners, and cooperatives. And they will have attorneys from John Deere helping support and mentor them.

In 2020, John Deere announced a new coalition with the National Black Growers Council (NBGC) and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), called LEAP (Legislation, Education, Advocacy and Production Systems). LEAP is dedicated to working with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives to ensure the long-term sustainability of over 60 million acres of land currently owned or farmed by Black farmers. Visit to learn more.

John Deere also funded three interns in 2021, who provided similar support. Read their story here.

Meet the Interns